Zimbabwe left with 10 presidential candidates as opposition leader withdraws

Zimbabwe left with 10 presidential candidates as opposition leader withdraws

Douglas Mwonzora pulls out of presidential race as another barred independent presidential candidate loses case at Constitutional Court

By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) – Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora on Tuesday pulled out of the presidential race later this month, citing unfair treatment, leaving 10 contenders for the top post.

“There is no doubt, ladies and gentlemen, that this election is not free and fair. The election management body has not displayed the requisite impartiality and fairness expected. With the concurrence of my party, I have withdrawn my candidature in this election,” Mwonzora told reporters in the capital Harare.

The leader had previously described the election as “a sham and a farce.” The decision to withdraw came after Mwonzora criticized Zimbabwe’s judiciary, which threw out an appeal by his party to reinstate 87 candidates.

“The judges have treated our cases on technicalities; we refuse to be part of that facade. We cannot stand all these shenanigans, unfairness and impunity in our electoral system,” said Mwonzora.

He added that the successfully nominated 24 constituency candidates will still run in the election set for Aug. 23.

The opposition leader said he would still cast his vote in the election.

Separately, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court dismissed independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal to access the apex court to nullify his disqualification.

Refusing to hear Kasukuwere’s constitutional matter, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza said: “The court finds that the application being a disguised appeal is not properly before the court. The application be and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.”

Without Kasukuwere and Mwonzora, Zimbabwe has 10 presidential contestants ahead of the Aug. 23 polls.

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